It's not what you have done that should inspire you, but what you will do.
I call this entry a detour because it has totally changed the next year of my life. We had planned on departing Miscou island New Brunswick on June 7th at midnight, heading for the madeleine islands and onwards toward Newfoundland where we would have spent some time in the company of some family of a friend of mine before heading across towards the Azores, and our 9 to 11 month journey around the north Atlantic.
Yet that has all changed as I noticed my cardio capacity had decreased over the weekend, Monday morning June 6th I decided to get myself checked out. Off to the doctor I went expecting to be back that evening yet that was not the case. Upon arrival the hospital the usual tests were done blood work X rays and a Lung Function test. My sugars seemed a bit high, and mostly my lung functions had dropped.
Then came the news that struck hard the doctor wanted to admit me, so after a few minutes of what if's and denial I said ok. That first night was extremely difficult my mind racing with questions and anxiety. With nothing more than the clothes on my back i spent the next 2 days in Bathurst hospital. The morning of the 8th after having done numerous tests they decided i was better off being transferred to Saint John where my specialist was able to perform some tests and get treatment that would have otherwise been more difficult in Bathurst.
They transferred me to Saint John; Luckily I was able to get a spare set of clothes from my brother before I left quite unexpectedly. Arriving in Saint John by ambulance I was transferred and setup in an isolation room as I was flagged as MRSA (multi Resistant staphylococcus aeureus) a bug that is pretty much anywhere but if you have it you are put into isolation. I know that I do not have it and never have but it is an old paper in my chart from back in 2005 when I was in Montreal hospital and had one out of 3 tests come back positive. My results have never been positive and only here in New Brunswick have they ever made it a big deal.
So with that I was confined to my small room with nurses mostly only coming and going to give me my meds and care, as they were required to suit up (masks gloves and gowns) before entering. So for the first week I was not able to associate with anyone very much. I mostly sat in my room thinking about the outcome of all that was going on; I have to say it was almost as scary as the day I went for my lung transplant, the differences being that at least then I knew what to expect.
I then had to have a scope done to verify my lungs, this was dreadful as I have had this procedure done before and it is not comfortable getting a tube down into your lungs, along with them wanting to flush out your lungs in order to remove any mucus and be able to see if there is any infection. Although this time was much easier than last, My experience was pretty much a total opposite, I was not put to sleep but made semi unconscious of the whole experience and barely remember a thing, this being unlike the last time this was done in Montreal where I was fully awake and felt like I was drowning as they flushed out my lungs. The results on the other hand were good, the doctor found no scarring or damage to my lungs.
By Monday a week in the hospital with a load of tests and blood work they placed me on antibiotics and a major dose of steroids concluding I was having a case of acute Rejection, which is kind of odd this far after having a lung transplant. This is usually treated with a higher dose of steroids and an increase in the immunosuppressive drugs, which is what they did. My doctors here in New Brunswick coordinating with my lung transplant team in Manitoba I felt fairly hopeful.
Although still after 3 weeks my PFT's (Pulmonary Lung Function tests) have not changed much, although good in the fact they have not continued to drop. After a few days of needles and one morning having to have 11 needles unsuccessfully for an IV, I was sent to get a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) or central line put in my arm, as my Veins were not able to handle the IV's. A PICC is inserted in a peripheral vein, such as in the upper arm, and then advanced through increasingly larger veins, toward the heart until the tip rests in the distal superior vena cava just above the heart. This worked well although at first I did not want to have it done.
The PICC did make it easier for me to leave the hospital between medications where I had 2 of my friends from Manitoba that came up and we would head out for walks and some food, this meant a lot as being cooped up in a small room was mentally straining. By the 3rd week I was not sleeping much and was finding myself awake when the sun came up, a side effect from the medication along with some stress I’m sure is the answer.
And then on Monday the 27th I was released from hospital with still no certain outcome on what is happening with my lungs, My PFT's still have no started to climb and I find myself very short of breath when doing any activities, there is still a chance they may improve but the doctors say there is a chance they might just stay where they are. I do know in order to get back to where I was, will take some time and a lot of effort.
So for now I am staying in Fredericton as it is the most convenient place for my doctors and I. I have regular tests to go through and fluctuating my steroids which may take a while to balance out. I have no idea yet what comes next for me and it is stressful to think about it, I do know that my health has to be a main concern and that without it not much else matters.
Thanks to everyone for their help and support I will keep you updated on my situation and feel free to email me or ask any questions.
This site is presented as a chronicle of my experiences in the wake of my March 2009, double-lung transplant. My second-life you might say. It is dedicated to the memory of Theresa Vibert (1960-2002). I am proud to be her son.
Feel free to browse around, send me comments, sign the guest book. Any feedback, be it positive or negative, is appreciated.
To learn more visit the About Me
Marina Valleyfield, We thank the staff for being very friendly and welcoming, along with a free night of dockage and complimentary drinks. I recommend anyone passing by Salaberry-de-Valleyfield to stop in, with a welcoming staff and a friendly community you might stop for an hour and end up spending 2 days, which is what happened to us. www.marinavalleyfield.com
Club Nautitque de Tadoussac, Thank you for the discount on our dockage it was much appreciated, we enjoyed our stay.
Cabelas Canada, for donating me my wonderful Cabelas guide wear weather gear so that I can stay dry in the worst of weather.
My sister , for my very nice waterproof neoprene boots, and her encouragement and support.
My brother, for always being there whenever I need anything, and helping me out with no hesitations or questions asked.
Jeff , for the use of his truck and giving me a place to stay before I depart, and a long list of other things he has helped out with.
Douggie, Thanks for the shoes off your feet buddy. literally he gave me the shoes off his feet this guy did and there the best shoes ive ever worn man havent taken them off yet and they keep em dry too.
My doctor and transplant coordinator, For helping with my medication supply and organizing everything I needed medically.
My uncle for making this all possible.